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The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE) , International Journals Call for papaers: http://www.iiste.org/Journals

The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE) , International Journals Call for papaers: http://www.iiste.org/Journals

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    • Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 6, 2011 Attitude of Nigeria Secondary School Students towards Physical Education as a Predictor of Achievement in the Subject Orunaboka, Tamunobelema Tammy Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Faculty of Education, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Tel: +234-8033413018 E-mail: tamyorus@yahoo.comAbstractThe traditional idea about physical education as jumping and running, and had no academic value havebeen the opinions of Nigeria parents and public. Physical education as an academic and science subjectfinds its self on across road. This study ascertained the relationship between secondary school students’attitudes towards physical education and their achievement in the subject. Two instruments were used;Physical Education Achievement Test (PEAT) and Physical Education Attitude Scale (PEAS) for datacollection. Three research questions guided the study. 112 physical Education students from 40secondary schools in the South-South Geo-Political zone (Niger Delta States) of Nigeria (Rivers State,Abia State, Imo State, Akwa Ibom State, Cross River State, Delta State, Edo State and Bayelsa State).The collected data were analyzed using mean score and t-test statistics. It was found that most studentsexhibit negative attitudes towards physical education while positive relationship was expressedbetween students’ attitudes and their achievement in the subject. Based on the findings, four (4)recommendations were made for an improvement. Some of the recommendations were; (a) students should not be forced to read subjects or courses that do not interest them. (b) Teachers of physical education at all levels (primary, post primary and post secondary) should direct more of their effort by developing the right attitudes towards physical education as a science subject.Keywords: Physical Education Achievement test; Attitudes, physical education attitude scale, sciencesubject, academic value.1. IntroductionThe Nigeria national policy on education recognize and group physical education as one of the sciencesubjects at the primary, post primary, and post secondary school levels. To study physical education atpost secondary school levels (colleges of education, polytechnics, and Universities) such studentseeking admission must have a credit pass in Biology or Health Science at West African SchoolCertificate Examination (WASC) or its equivalent. One may agree with the researcher that manystudents in Nigeria secondary schools have weak attitudes to all science subjects includingmathematics. A good academic observer at the secondary schools in Nigeria will notice the negativeattitude of students towards their acceptance of physical education as an academic and science subject.According to the Encyclopedia Poritennica (2004) “attitude” refers to predisposition to classify objectsand events, to react to them with evaluative consistency” The Encyclopedia America (2003) sees it as“a predisposition to respond in a certain way to a person, object, situation, events or idea”. Theresponse may come within conscious reflection. A person who shows a certain attitude towardssomething is reacting to his conception of that thing rather than to its actual state.In Nigeria, physical education became an examinable subject at the secondary school West AfricanExamination Council examinations in 1982 (Orunaboka, 2005). After about 2 decades today no goodnumber of secondary school graduates have offered this course at their graduating examinations. Thetraditional idea about physical education as jumping and running, and had no academic value have 71
    • Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 6, 2011been the opinions of parents and public. This opinions have created negative attitudes to the minds ofthe students. Attitudes can also be related to prejudice. A prejudice is a rigidly fixed attitude usuallyunfavourable, though a favourable prejudice is also possible. An attitude becomes a prejudice when thepredisposition is so strong that no attention is paid to evidence that might call for change. It is onacademic records and history that physical education has called for change and has made a greatchange from its jumping and running to quality academic research virtuosity.2. The Power of AttitudeAttitude are formed by people as a result of some kinds of learning experience if the experience isfavourable a positive attitude is found and vice versa. The attitude people hold can frequently influencethe way they act in person and larger situation. For this reason, administrators, psychologists andsociologists are concerned with attitude development, how they affect behavior and how they can bechanged. This is the cross road physical education as an academic subject finds itself. Researches haveshown that most parents are not happy to hear their children and wards talk about physical educationand sports. According to Awosika (2004), Orunaboka (2004), parents are not knowledgeable enoughabout the academic programmes in physical education. Some non-physical education lecturers at thecolleges of education, and Universities believe that physical education is not for the do well students,they saw it to be for the academic drop outs, hence parents often say “I do not send you to school to goand play sports, football or jumping and running about on the field”. Young (2002) asserts thatattitudes which arouse behavior and sustain or terminate an activity and progress, they regulate anorganized behavior and they lead to the acquisition of motives and stable disposition to act. In supportof the above Awosika (2005) opined that several attempts have been made to identify teachers orstudents’ attitudes towards teaching and learning of physical education as a science subject but nomuch positive results. Allen (2004) stated that researchers should as a matter of urgency investigatesome means by which desirable changes in the attitudes of teachers and students could be fostered andinduced for the acceptance of physical education as an academic subject. Academic scholars may agreewith the researcher that the objectives of any science curricular includes fostering favourable attitudestowards science and imparting cognitive knowledge which physical education as a science course isdoing in this millennium. Physical education at the advance levels (under and post graduate levels)studies is housing specialization courses like “Sports Medicine; Exercise Physiology; SportsEquipment Technology; Sports Facilities Engineering; Human Anatomy and Physiology in Sports;Sports Management; Sports Psychology; Sports Marketing; Sport Law; Sport Inssurance; amongothers. After the observation of the contents of the physical education curricular, Uduk and Orunaboka(2001) asserted that consequent upon this, considerable funds and efforts have been expended on theresearch and development of physical education curricular, yet the level of acceptance of physicaleducation as an academic subject is still low.On the relationship between science teachers characteristics and students achievements and attitudesLawrenz (2003) quoted by Awosika (2005) found that, the teacher’s desire to improve himself withinhis profession was positively related to students’ achievement, and that the teachers’ attitude towardsscience was significantly related to students achievement and attitude. Also Campbell and MartinezPerez (1977) conducted a study on relationship between attitude and achievement in science methodclass and observed that the attitudes of the students’ and teachers towards science was not a predictorof achievement, and that a significant positive relationship existed between teacher process skillsachievement and their (students) attitudes towards science.The researcher has observed that several attempts have been made in develop and under developcountries to identify teachers’ or students’ attitudes towards other science subjects, while much has notbeen done, if any on physical education as a science subject in Nigeria schools. It is the interest of theresearcher to investigate some means by which desirable changes in the secondary school studentsattitudes could be foster and induce in the learning of physical education as a science subject inNigeria. 72
    • Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) Vol 2, No 6, 2011 3. Research Questions This study had provided possible answers to the following 3 questions that guided this research: 1. To what extent does attitude vary among Nigeria secondary school students with respect to physical education as a science subject? 2. Is there any significant difference in the attitudes of secondary school students with regard to their attitudes to physical education as a science subject? 3. Is there any relationship between secondary school students’ attitude and their performance in physical education as a science subject? 3.1 Method and Procedure Population of The study; Sample and Sampling Techniques The population of this study comprised all the students and the whole secondary schools in the South- South Geo-political zone (Niger Delta States) of Nigeria. The study was delimited to 40 secondary schools in the South-South Geo-political zone (Niger Delta States) of Nigeria. (Rivers State, Abia State, Imo State, Akwa Ibom State, Cross River State, Edo State and Bayelsa State) in each of this 8 states, 5 secondary schools were randomly selected for this study. A total of 112 students (male and female) from 40 secondary schools were involved in this study. 3.2 Instrumentation The main research instrument for the study were Physical Education Rating Scale (PERS) and Physical Education Achievement Test (PEAT) which were adopted from Haskins (1972). This two instruments were specially designed for this study which were validated by experts in the field of physical education. The reliability was established using the test-retest method. The correlation coefficient was found to be 0.88 which was considered appropriate for this study. The PERS was arranged on a three-point likert type scale and was scored accordingly as Favourable (3), Uncertain (2), unfavourable (1). It was a 15-item instrument which indicates that any respondent could score a maximum of 45 points and the least score 15 points. The PEAT was a test comprising of short item questions and completion type test on science method courses. Each item was scored one point. The maximum scores that could be obtained by any responding student was 60 points and least was zero. 3.3 Method of Data Analysis Descriptive statistics of frequency and percentages, with inferential statistics of t-test were used to analyse the data collection. 3.4 Results and Discussion The results of this study are presented in Tables 1-3. The frequency and percentages distribution on scores achieved on attitude scale are shown in table 1. Table 1Scores on Attitudes Frequency F Percentages (%) Cumulative Cumulative Scale (SAS) frequency (f) percentages (%) 14-16 21 18.8 21 18.8 17-19 23 20.5 44 39.3 20-22 14 12.5 58 51.8 23-25 19 17.0 77 68.8 73
    • Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online) Vol 2, No 6, 2011 26-28 11 9.8 88 78.6 29-21 09 8.0 97 86.6 32-34 10 8.9 107 95.5 35-37 03 2.7 110 98.2 33-40 02 1.8 112 100.0 Mode = 18; Mean = 23.2; Median = 22; S.D. = 2.5; Range = 26 Table 1 above shows the analysis of scores obtained from the physical Education Attitude Scale. The Mean score was 23.2, while the Median was 22. It also showed that more than 52% of the sample scored below 22 points. These were considered as physical education students with negative attitude, were those who scored above 22 were adjudged students with positive attitude, since this score (23) represented the scores that showed that individual student obtained at least “favourable” responses in at least eight (8) of the items on the attitude scale. Table 2: Mean Score and Standard Deviation Score on physical Education Attitude Scale (PEAS) according to Students Attitudes Towards Physical Education Students Assumed Attitudes N (X) Means Score Score S.D Towards PE Negative attitude 58 17.6 2.56 Positive attitude 54 24.2 3.57 This table 2 revealed that 58% of the respondents were adjudged to possess a negative attitude towards Physical Education as a science subject. This analysis also showed that the mean scores of individual students with positive attitudes were found to be greater (24.2) than that of students with negative attitudes of 17.6. This evidence shows a direct relationship between students assumed attitudes and their scores on the physical education attitude scale. Table 3: Mean Score, Standard Deviation and t-value on PEAT for students with positive and those with negative attitudes towards physical education as a science subject. Sub Group N (X) S.D Cal. t.value Critical valueStudents with negative attitude 58 19.03 1.56 1.08 1.96 *SStudents with positive attitude 54 34.2 2.01 *S-Significant at = .05, df = 110 Table 3 shows the calculated t-value of 10.8 was higher than the critical t-value of 1.96%. this result showed that there exists a significant difference between the physical education achievement of students with positive attitudes and those with negative attitudes towards the subject. 4. Discussion of Findings This study was carried out mainly to find out the attitudes of students towards the study of physical education as a science subject as a predictor of their achievement. Majority of the respondents(students)for this study were found to have possessed negative attitudes towards physical education as a science subject despite the fact that they offer the subject. This is in line with Orunaboka (2004) in his study on colleges of education students’ attitudes towards physical education. It also corroborates with the finding of Babatunde (2002) when he observed that attitudes of students was negative to Biology and that no significant difference exist between students attitudes towards biology based on their sex. The mean score (23) on the attitude test was not encouraging. 74
    • Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 6, 2011The result also showed a very wide gap in the attitudes of students with regard to the subject understudy. It was observed that a significant difference exists between the physical education achievementof the individuals with positive attitudes and those with negative attitudes towards the subject. Thestudy revealed that students’ achievement in science is highly related to their attitudes towards suchsubject. Other studies by researchers (Awosika 2004; Arken and Dreger 1961; Brown and Holtzman1955; Jordan 1941) have seriously reported weak relationships existing between students attitudestowards specific academic subjects and cognitive achievement.4.1 Educational Implication of the StudyIt is believed that most students that read and graduated in physical education will take a teaching jobeither in primary or post primary schools. Hence, students of this department are future teachers ofphysical education. Their negative attitudes to physical education have serious implication as they maybe reluctant to teach the course if they eventually find their ways into the classrooms of our public orprivate schools. One wonders what this category of teachers will impart on to the pupils and itsresultant negative effects on the pupils’ foundation in physical education as a science subject and in thenation sports world.The difference that exists between physical education achievement test of the students with positiveattitudes and those with negative attitudes towards the subject was unexpected, because interest,personality traits and feelings of individuals towards a particular thing would likely affect theindividual’s performance in them. The implication of these negative attitudes at this present time willcause hell to the students and the nation at large, mostly now that the Nigeria government is strugglingto meet up with the developed nations on scientific and technological advancement in all field ofacademics through UBE (Universal Basic Education). Something drastic has to be done in order tobridge and reduce the gap between the two groups. It should be understood that the teaching andlearning of physical education at the secondary schools encourages student’s participation in sports.The primary and post primary schools are the bed rock of grass root sport training and identification ofthe future sportsmen and women of any nation that is interested in sports development all over theworld.5. ConclusionIn line with the findings and observations made during the study, it was concluded that:1. Physical education Achievement of students was found to be highly related to their attitudesto the subject.2. The variation in the attitudes of the students towards the subject was enormous going bythe range score.3. A sizeable number of physical education students were found to have possessednegative attitudes towards the subject.4. Despite the fact that all the respondents were prospective physical education students,their negative attitudes were also confirmed by the low mean attitudes score.5. Students have over the years exhibited negative attitudes towards all science subjects,not only in physical education, but there seems to be parental and peer influences on the negative attitudes towards physical education as a subject.6. Recommendation1. Students should not be forced to read subjects or courses that do not interest them.2. Ministry of education (both Federal and States) should organize seminars, workshopsthrough the school authorities on the values of physical education as a science subject. 75
    • Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 6, 20113. Teachers of physical education at all levels (primary, post primary and post secondary)should direct more of their effort by developing the right attitudes towards physical education as a science subject.4. Government should make physical education at primary and post primary schools acompulsory subject.5. Government should implement a good fiscal policies for physical education and sportsthroughout the nation.6. NAPHER-SD should direct their efforts on addressing the negative issues (publicopinions) facing physical education as a science subject in Nigeria.ReferencesAllen, H., (1959): Attitude of certain High school students towards science and scientific career.New York: Columbia University.Americana (2003): The Laroussie Illustrated international Encyclopedia and Dictionary. Printedand Manufactured in the United States of American.Arken, L.R., & Dreger, R.M., (1961): The effect of attitudes on performance in Mathematics.New York: Journal of Educational Psychology. 52 (1). Pp. 19-24.Awosika, Y. & Taylor, M.A., (2003): Evaluation of the Physical Education Curriculum of TwoSenior Secondary Schools in cape Coast, Ghana. Journal of Science Education. (JOSE). Abeokuta. Vol. 2, No.1 & 2. Pp. 96-102.Awosika Y., (2004): Students teachers self concept and attitudes toward teaching as predictors ofeffective teaching. Ibadan:Education Review. 5(1) Pp. 13-20.Awosika Y., (2005): The relationship between changes in attitude toward a course and finalachievement Ibadan: Journal of Educational Research. 61(2). Pp. 45-52.Babatunde, A.M., (2002): Attitude of Teachers and students toward Biology and StudentsAchievement in the subject. Unpublished M.Ed. project. University of Ibadan.Brown, W.I., & Holtman, W.H., (1955): A study attitude questionnaire for predicting academicsuccess. America Journal of Educational Psychology. 46. Pp. 75-84.Campbell, R.L. & Martinez, P., (1977): Self-concept and attitude as factors in achievement ofpre-service Teachers. America: Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 14(5) Pp. 455-458.Haskins, M.J., (1972). Evaluation in physical education. America: WM.C. Brown companypublishers.Jordan, D., (1941): The attitude of central school pupils to certain school subject and thecorrelation between attitude and attainment. British: Journal of Educational Psychology. 11(1). Pp.29-44.Lawrenz, F., (2003): The relationship between Science Teacher Character and Studentsachievement and attitude. Lagos: Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 12(4) Pp. 433-437.Orunaboka, T.T., (2005): Towards an appropriate culture loaded physical education curriculumfor Nigerian schools. Proceedings of the 10th Annual conference of Nigeria Association of sportsscience and medicine (NASSM). Pp 103-109. 76
    • Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.orgISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)Vol 2, No 6, 2011Orunaboka, T.T., (2004): Career Influencing factors among Harcourt and Alvan Ikoku COE Owerri).Nigerian Journal of Empirical Studies in Psychology and Education (NJESPE).Vol. 1, No. 5, Pp. 103-110.Uduk, E.I.,& Orunaboka, T.T., (2001): The teaching of physical and Health Education in theNew age Ibadan: Journal of the Nigeria Association for physical, Health Education RecreationSports and Dance. Vol. 3 No. 2Young, P.G., (2002): Affective Processes in Motivation. In Binda, O. and Steward, J. (eds).Motivation Hamondsworth, Pongion. 77